October on Hvar: The Perfect Indian Summer

Total Croatia News

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Source: Bahrain Merida

At a time of global weather uncertainty, where to head for an Indian Summer? To Europe’s sunniest island of course.

It will always be the world’s most beautiful island to me. From the moment I arrived in Jelsa on my spontaneous house-buying weekend of August 2002, Hvar has been a large part of my life, and it has been a pleasure and privilege to discover almost every corner of it over the last 14 years, even more so through the Total Hvar project in the last six. 

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Things change and we all move on, and life up north in not so sunny Varazdin is a totally different – but equally pleasant – experience. But there is something about that island of Hvar. 

It was with considerable pride on a recent trip with international gourmet tour operators on Brac that when we scaled the heights of Vidova Gora, the tallest point of any of the Croatian islands, we were confronted by the view you see above. In late October.

“This is Hvar, my island,” I beamed. They were suitably impressed by the view and left knowing that the food and wine tourism potential of Dalmatia extended far beyond the three-day trip to Brac, Cetina, Klis, Split and Kastela that had so charmed them. 

I took some time to absorb the view, the first time I had done so in the flesh. The island was as stunning as when I had fallen in love 15 years ago, and how I did miss that autumn sun. That is one of the almost guarantees about Dalmatia, arriving from continental Croatia – one is greeted by the warmth and brightness of the famous Dalmatian sun. 


October was, by all accounts, a glorious one on Hvar, and as the season extends, more people are discovering the island away from the beach. I heard recently that a world champion cyclist will be arriving on Hvar for winter training, the latest endorsement of this shoulder season sector of tourism on the islnad. Wine tours, culture, hiking and other sports are all helping to extend the season. 

While one cannot guarantee sunshine (ironically it is raining today), if you are looking for an end of season warmth on your skin, Hvar is as good a bet as any. Friends send me photos to make me jealous, of course, and here is The Professor with morning coffee on the square in Jelsa just yesterday, gamely sporting his short sleeves and struggling in temperatures of minus 19. 


A little further away, those crazy Scots from Vrbanj were taking things a step further, with a picnic and a swim at Dubovica. The date, let’s not forget – November 5, 2017. 


I have never understood why Hvar was so empty of tourists in October, when it is one of the most relaxing times of the year. Thankfully, times are changing, and the crucial support of Suncani Hvar Hotels has helped to expand the options for tourists looking to visit the island out of the season. The development of cycling tourism (public acknowledgement for the efforts of Hvar Adventure and Hvar Life) and wine tourism (bravo Hvar Tours and Secret Hvar), as well as kayaking, sailing, hiking and climbing activities (Hvar Adventure and And Adventure) has slowly moved the focus of tourism away from a 100% focus on the summer, to looking at what can be done.

The main tourism players on the island were not so well organised six years ago when I started Total Hvar, but there is much better cohesion and cooperation these days. Backed by the quality accommodation offered by Suncani Hvar, more out of season events are now being held and are growing in popularity. One great example of this is the squid fishing championship, Peskafondo, which first took place a few weeks after I started Total Hvar in 2011. Back then, it was a relatively small event, sponsored by Gariful, but it has grown in importance each year, bringing some welcome entertainment in early November. This year’s event was perhaps the biggest and most successful ever, even attracting teams from abroad. An excellent example of how successful local cooperation can extend the season. 

Suncani Hvar have their own offers and programmes outside support events, of course. Firm supporters of Hvar the Active Destination, their Active Hvar package caters to a range of adrenaline sports – Biking, Hiking, Kayaking, Swimming, Windsurfing, Paddling, Diving, Snorkeling… while bike lovers can benefit from special bike packages at their official bike hotel, hvar bayhill pharos. Wellness and romance packages at Hotel Adriana, which has won awards as the best boutique wellness hotel in Europe, are further examples of the flexibility of Hvar as a shoulder season destination. 

It is too late for this October, but next October will come soon enough, and Spring before that. Take a look at what is available on the Suncani Hvar website.

Shoulder season Hvar, a wonderful time to visit. 



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